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When talking about grace, we often give negative connotations to words like effort, performance, and accomplishment.

They become four letter, anti-grace cuss words.

And if one is gaining their approval from God and others based on what they do, than a negative perception is the correct one.

We cannot earn or be worthy of God based on striving and effort. Broken people produce broken things. This means we cannot improve on perfection.

This line of thinking is reflected by the oft heard cliché, “We are not human doings, but human beings”

True…

But there is another side to achievement.

If we have our value and worth in God, based on what He has done for us, then there is a proper place of accomplishment in our lives.

God created us to work.

The relationship between grace and obedience can seem tenuous at times.

An over-emphasis on grace with no thought to obedience can lead to antinomianism, hyper grace, or as some would say “free, cheap grace.”

Focusing on rules and commands as a means to gain the favor of God can lead to rule keeping, law, and legalism. The thinking of “God has done His part, now we do ours” is equally out of balance.

But it is clear the Bible promotes a balance or blend of these two truths.

In his book, Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us, Preston Sprinkle shares a third way which comes from New Testament scholar John Barclay.

This view is called Energism. It stems from the Greek word “energeo” found Galatians 2:8.

“for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles”